It’s an educational organization that’s older than an independent Bahamas and this month, Toastmasters Club 1600 marked its 50th anniversary of delivering public speaking and leadership skills to Bahamian men hailing from diverse backgrounds. Officially, the words “First Bahamas Branch” go before the club’s name, denoting its premier historical standing as the first local branch of an international organization, world-renowned for its focus on self-development. The club’s official charter was issued on January 1, 1969. It was presented to the club’s founding president, Ernest T. Strachan by the late Lynden O. Pindling (later Sir), then Premier of the Colony of the Bahama Islands.
Toastmasters Club 1600 President, Ancin Munnings chose this year’s theme, “1600 Strong: Legacy, Leadership, and Communication” to emphasize what the club represents. “For 50 years we have been known as the standard for Toastmasters Clubs in The Bahamas. Many of our members are leading professionals in their respective fields and they will tell you, they owe it all to Toastmasters and Club 1600,” he said. “Through our efforts to date over 30 clubs are in existence across The Bahamas, in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Exuma and Mayaguana. It is my hope that many more Bahamians will join our ranks and experience the benefits that Toastmasters offers.”
According to Shacoy Mullings, Vice President of Education for Club 1600, the club felt it fitting to pay tribute to its leadership in celebration of its Golden Jubilee. “We have 52 past presidents, 47 of which are still alive today,” he noted. “Each played a vital role in moving our organization forward, creating what you see before you – an energized, vibrant club committed to empowering our members to become more effective communicators and leaders.” At the Thursday, December 19, ceremony held at the Melia Nassau Beach, the club also took the opportunity to recognize some Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) who have made significant contribution to Club 1600 through the years. The event was sponsored in part by Aliv, Endless Dream Vacation Club and Jay Fitness.
More photo highlights below: